Downtown Swim Club Bylaws
(This summary reflects changes adopted in October 1999)
- Name and address Our name is the Downtown Swim Club (DSC), and mailing address is:
P.O. Box 001
552 Church Street
Club mission statement
- Maximize the accessibility of DSC activities - in terms of pool location, practice times, number of practices and affordability.
- Provide a balanced program, appealing equally to:
- men and women
- recreational, fitness and competitive swimmers, and providing both exercise and social activities.
- For those interested in masters swim meets, provide an environment fostering improved competitive skills.
- Provide a positive gay and lesbian environment.
- To summarize the club's mission, our purpose is to provide fun, fitness and friendship through swimming.
Therefore, our club activities are:
- coach-led structured swim practices with interval training, usually 3 times per week, using Toronto area pools on a permit basis
- special swim events (such as fund raising swim-a-thons or attending/sponsoring Masters swim meets)
- social activities (for example: picnics, bicycle trips, parties)
- All regulations set by the pool owner (e.g. City of Toronto Parks & Recreation, Toronto Board of Education) and by Masters Swimming Ontario are to be observed during all practices, in particular:
- no one allowed in the water unless lifeguard on the pool deck
- no diving in shallow end
- no diving off the diving board
- Activities of DSC shall be governed by these bylaws, and additionally by detailed operating procedures.
DSC is registered with Masters Swimming Ontario (which is affiliated via Canada's national Masters Swim association, with FINA) as a masters swim club, and is also a member of International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA).
The club was formed to provide a low cost swim club for lesbians and gay men; however, membership is open to anyone who can demonstrate basic ability to swim (i.e. able to swim at least four lengths of the pool continuously) and feels positive about, and is supportive of gay people.
- Our club is entirely self-funding, and so membership fees provide the club's major source of income. The fee schedule has been established to ensure affordability, and flexibility.
- The portion of the membership fee paid to MSO provides liability and accident insurance coverage through Swim Ontario, and permits swimmers to enter Masters' swim competitions. Fees also pay other club expenses such as coaching, lifeguard, etc.
- No one will be excluded membership if payment of fees would cause undue financial hardship; individuals who are unable to pay the full amount should discuss their situation with the membership co-ordinator, on a confidential basis.
- trial period
Assuming club membership is not at the maximum, prospective new members are allowed to swim for the first few times for a nominal fee, on a trial basis. Swimmers must become a member of the club after this trial period by paying a full membership fee. The trial period cannot be extended, since all swimmers must be covered by MSO liability insurance.
- general DSC is a non-profit non-incorporated organization. Its operations are co-ordinated by a volunteer executive committee. Any paid up club member is eligible to be elected to one of the following executive positions. Elections are held at the annual general meeting.
These volunteer, non-paid positions are held for one year; executives can be re-elected (to the same or different position) in subsequent years.
- If an executive position becomes vacant during the year, a replacement can be appointed for the duration of year, by approval of the executive committee.
- executive positions / typical duties
- co-chair (2 persons, gender parity preferable. It is preferable that at least one of the co-chairs has served as a member of the DSC executive committee from a prior year.):
chairs executive and general meetings as required; initiates action to address requests/complaints; provides overall direction to the club
- treasurer: deposits/disburses all funds; maintains financial records and reports current financial status at executive and general meetings
- secretary: prepares meeting minutes; answers correspondence
- membership: ensures waivers signed by new members, collects payment from members; maintains current membership list
- meet-participation co-ordinator: encourages and co-ordinates participation at local and out of town Masters and IGLA swim meets.
- social co-ordinator: organizes social events
- special committees may be formed as required to carry out activities or to make recommendations to the executive committee (e.g. newsletter, promotion, swim meet, swim-a-thon, swimsuit selection, coach search)
- Paid positions
- coach(es): prepares and conducts swim workout (may also act as lifeguard)
- For membership fees and accounting purposes, our year end is September 30th.
- Membership fees will be set at an amount which will pay for all normal annual operational expenses of the club.
- In preparing and managing its annual budget, the club will strive to maintain a financial reserve (i.e. an accumulated surplus equal to 50% of projected annual membership income), to provide funds in case of sudden, large, unanticipated expenses.
- All funds dispensed or collected for any DSC sponsored activity (e.g. membership fees, swim meet, merchandise sales, fund-raising events) shall be managed by the treasurer. Incoming funds shall be given promptly to the treasurer for safekeeping and accounting purposes. All such incomes should be made payable solely to DSC.
- Small, routine expenditures are made following discussion of the co-chair and treasurer. Prior discussion and approval of the executive committee and/or vote by full membership is required for major or possibly contentious expenditures, or amounts exceeding previously approved budget. Signing authority is any one of the Treasurer, or the two Co-Chairs, however two signatures are required for amounts exceeding $CDN 500.
- Any fund-raising event or sponsorship using the DSC name or benefiting any DSC activity must be approved by the DSC executive prior to any advertising or commitment to participate in this fund-raising activity.
- DSC fund-raising events are limited to:
- benefiting Canadian lesbian, gay or lesbian/gay-friendly charities, or
- defraying the cost of an event(s) that raises DSC's profile in the lesbian/gay and swim communities.
- Upon dissolution, the net assets of the DSC will not be transferred or passed on for the benefit of any private individual or corporation, but will be distributed in respect of G) i) as approved by the executive of the DSC and its membership.